Theme of the day
There will be few hits on this day: Thursday was not a great day to be a hitter in the Minor Leagues. Justin Donatella, Daniel Gibson, Kirby Bellow, Kevin Ginkel and Brad Goldberg combined to throw a no-hitter for Double-A Jackson, the 13th no-hitter in the Minors this season. Red Sox prospects Tanner Houck and Joan Martinez came within one out of taking that total to 14 with their combined gem for Class A Advanced Salem. Cubs No. 18 prospect Keegan Thompson was downright perfect in his seven frames with Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach. There were some impressive performances with the bat elsewhere, of course, but Thursday belonged to the arms.
Video: Jackson earns no-hitter
Who stayed hot
Padres RHP Cal Quantrill, Double-A San Antonio: 7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 pitches, 65 strikes -- Earlier this week, the Padres' No. 4 prospect was named a Texas League All-Star. On Thursday, he showed why with seven strong innings in a win at Frisco. The 23-year-old right-hander had a 5.32 ERA in the Double-A circuit as late as May 18 but has been impressive ever since, posting a 1.78 ERA with 32 strikeouts and only four walks over his last five starts (30 1/3 innings). His 72 K's over 77 2/3 innings rank third in the Texas League, and his season ERA is now down to 3.94, its lowest level since May 7. Quantrill has 22 Double-A starts on his resume now, and with these recent improvements, he could be headed to Triple-A El Paso soon.
Video: Quantrill strikes out seventh for San Antonio
Who needed this one
Reds 2B Shed Long, Double-A Pensacola: 4-for-5, 2 2B, RBI, 2 R, K -- The No. 5 Reds prospect started his season incredibly hot, hitting .351 with an .899 OPS over 21 games in April. Since the calendar flipped to May, however, he had been anything but. Long entered Thursday's game against Mobile with a .207 average and .677 OPS in 38 games since May 1, making his season-high four hits a welcome sight. The left-handed-hitting second baseman's strength is his hit tool, but his 52.2 percent groundball rate -- the highest of his career since 2015 -- has limited his success. All four of his hits Thursday came in the air -- three line drives and a fly ball.
Braves RHP Touki Toussaint, Double-A Mississippi: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, 102 pitches, 69 strikes -- A quality start from the Braves' No. 11 prospect wasn't a surprise. Toussaint is enjoying the best statistical season of his career with a 3.41 ERA and 1.22 WHIP over 74 innings with Mississippi. The 10 K's also weren't a shock; he leads the Southern League with 92 and is second with a 29 percent strikeout rate. Toussaint has, however, historically struggled with his command. The 21-year-old right-hander has averaged 4.5 BB/9 during his five-year Minor League career. Toussaint has now cut his walk rate from 13 percent in 2017 to 9.8 percent with last night's gem. With a plus fastball and one of the Minors' best curveballs, he's always had swing-and-miss stuff; he just needs to find the zone consistently.
Dylan Cease vs. Khalil Lee: This could be a big AL Central matchup for years to come. For now, it came in the Carolina League as Cease's Winston-Salem hosted Lee's Wilmington, with the White Sox prospect getting the best of the Royals farmhand. Cease got Lee to ground out to short in the first, ground out to second in the fourth, strike out in the sixth and line out to left in the eighth. That's a solid accomplishment -- Lee ranks second in the Carolina League with a .412 OBP. By allowing two earned runs in his eight innings, Cease improved to 9-2 with a 2.89 ERA through 13 starts. This was the first time the pair faced each other in 2018, but it might not be the last; Wilmington hosts Winston-Salem from June 30-July 3.
Who strengthened their promotion case
Indians C/OF Francisco Mejia, Triple-A Columbus: 3-for-5, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, R, K -- Cleveland called up its top prospect for the first time this season on Monday, didn't use him and then optioned him back to Columbus the following day. Mejia returned to the Clippers lineup with authority. Once hitting below the Mendoza line, MLB.com's No. 11 prospect has caught fire, hitting .378/.420/.644 with seven extra-base hits and 13 RBIs in his last 12 games. His .223 average and .639 OPS on the season may not be impressive, but the 22-year-old switch-hitter is looking much more like himself in recent weeks.
Video: Columbus' Mejia launches a solo home run
Others of note
Rockies 1B/OF Jordan Patterson, Triple-A Albuquerque: 3-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R, K -- Colorado's No. 20 prospect notched his second multi-homer game of the season at home. That's no coincidence. Eleven of his 13 homers this season have come at Isotopes Park, and he owns a .693 slugging percentage at home versus .396 on the road.